Deutsche Bank: the Qatari-owned German bank servicing Saudi billionaires

I was not the least surprised when I read that the Saudi businessman who wanted to move his money discretely to a small private bank with the help of Yorgen Fenech, initially had his funds in Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank has earned a reputation for taking on any kind of business and since the past twelve years, it has attempted to take on more rich clients into its private wealth and investment banking divisions. Deutsche Bank is a record-breaking bank in legal violations and illegalities having been fined for money laundering and lack of lack AML standards, multiple times and consistently by various different Western jurisdictions, including the US, and the UK, apart from paying fines for bribery and corruption. Deutsche Bank has also been fined for servicing the Assad family – something which its major and biggest shareholder, the Qatari ruling family wouldn’t be all too happy about.

The Al-Thani ruling family of Qatar owns up to 6.1% of Deutsche Bank with two of its major funds, making them technically, the biggest shareholder of the bank. The Qatari purchase of Deutsche Bank may be driven by strategic and utilitarian reasons apart from economic gain, and the strategic interest may have been a priority given that Deutsche Bank has been for the past fifteen years, Europe’s dumpster of fire. Not only has the bank been haunted by huge losses on its bad bets but it never really recovered from the 2008 global financial crisis, kept taking losses on its bad bets and investments, and was further hampered by a tightening of rates. One of the many ways Deutsche Bank opted to survive its crisis is by accelerating its business intake in its private banking and private investment units – the result was a record-breaking streak of fines and criminal investigations. Deutsche Bank is basically the kind of stock you don’t ever want to touch with a ten-foot pole if you are a fund manager buying equities with strong balance sheets and cash-generating business models and a trader’s paradise if you are a short-seller.

The Qataris have many more investments in Europe and the US that are much better poised to make money and all signs indicate that the rich billionaires of the Gulf would like to have a safe deposit function for their money and their assets in Europe hence why they opt to own desperate European banks that are desperate enough to break AML regulations to take on business. The Saudis too tried to have their own little bank in Europe and they opted for Credit Suisse which eventually blew up and the bank had to be bailed out by the government. The Saudis didn’t seem to care they were losing the value of their investment when Credit Suisse went belly up and the only thing that stopped them from putting in even more money was that they couldn’t exceed the 10% shareholding ownership limit. Now, Deutsche Bank is trying to attract Credit Suisse’s Saudi clients.

Today, Deutsche Bank’s reputation in Europe is not that of an industrial and international commercial bank – those days are long gone. Today’s Deutsche Bank in Europe is known as the bank for shady non-European billionaires who want to move money into Europe. This is why Deutsche Bank is making efforts to increase its Saudi clientele, even to the extent of bribing Saudi government officials to obtain business. Not only. Deutsche Bank is even expanding aggressively its business in the Saudi territory itself offering many kinds of services and entering into very big deals with local investors. They are doing anything possible to get business from Saudi Arabia even hiring, bribing, and dealing with public officials and integrating Saudi VIPs into their business and company. Apparently, one Saudi billionaire who has worked with and is also close to Deutsche Bank is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal who was theatrically awarded with a medal by the Maltese state after he came to Malta and promised investment.

Deutsche Bank is very representative of Germany’s existential crisis it has today. A flailing industrial powerhouse that no longer has the same esteem it has before, Germany is slowly abandoning European values to do whatever works even if this means comprising its integrity, dealing with murderous barbarian dictators, and taking on any kind of money from the East. Deutsche Bank, like Germany, has become an open shop for rich non-European billionaires who want to move their money into Europe but the bank is unable to position itself as an important agent for Europe’s industrial recovery. It’s a thing of the past which is becoming like what famous short-seller Marc Cohodes would describe as a “publicly-traded crime scene”. Currently, on its main website, it is promoting the metaverse. The desperation and the sleaze from this bank can be smelled from thousands of miles away.

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